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Recent Longevity News for the seven days ending 10/12/11.  You should consult your doctor if you are taking any medications.

Exercise just as good as drugs at preventing migraines, Swedish study suggests - Science Daily, 10/10/11 - "Published in the journal Cephalalgia, the study involved 91 migraine patients, a third of whom were asked to exercise for 40 minutes three times a week under the supervision of a physiotherapist, with another third doing relaxation exercises, and the final third given topiramate. The study lasted for a total of three months ... the number of migraines fell in all three groups. Interestingly, there was no difference in the preventative effect between the three treatments"

Smoking cannabis increases risk of depression in the case of genetic vulnerability, study finds - Science Daily, 10/10/11 - "Young people who are genetically vulnerable to depression should be extra careful about using cannabis: smoking cannabis leads to an increased risk of developing depressive symptoms ... Two-thirds of the population have the gene variant that makes one sensitive to depression ... Besides worse performances at school, the use of cannabis also increases the risk of developing schizophrenia and psychosis"

Hormone oxytocin flies off shelves as a his-and-hers sex drug - The Daily, 10/10/11 - "“Absolutely, it’s worth a try,” Eric Braverman, a New York physician who recommends an oxytocin supplement to patients struggling in relationships, told The Daily. “And we know that people produce less oxytocin as they get older, so for them to stay intimate, a supplement can be a godsend.” ... But while some couples swear by the supplement, experts caution that there’s not enough evidence to show that synthetic oxytocin — the kind sold over-the-counter, as opposed to that produced by the human body or used by hospitals to induce labor — can actually impact the brain" - Click here to purchase Oxytocin Factor or see Oxytocin 6x5iu tablets at International Antiaging Systems. - Related article:

Task Force to Men: Don't Get PSA Test - WebMD, 10/7/11 - "Rising PSA levels are an early sign of prostate cancer, but the test gives a false cancer signal up to 80% of the time. Moreover, not all PSA-detected prostate cancers are dangerous ... The common perception that PSA-based early detection of prostate cancer saves lives is simply not supported by the scientific evidence ... The statement already is drawing harsh criticism, particularly from the American Urological Association ... It is our feeling that, when interpreted appropriately, the PSA test provides important information ... The task force is oversimplifying a complex series of [clinical trial] results ... I think there is real evidence of benefit for PSA screening. Death rates from prostate cancer have gone down … It is hard for me to believe all that is due to better treatment"

Chemical makers say BPA no longer used in bottles - USA Today, 10/7/11 - "Makers of the controversial chemical bisphenol-A have asked federal regulators to phase out rules that allow its use in baby bottles and sippy cups, saying those products haven't contained the plastic-hardening ingredient for two years" - Note:  I don't know why they don't just faze it out all together.  I bought some plastic disposable food containers for touch-up painting around the house and even those said "BPA free".

Fuel to the Fire or Flame Retardant? More on ARB Use/Cancer - Medscape, 10/6/11 - "use of angiotensin-receptor blockers (ARBs) or ACE inhibitors is not associated with a significantly increased risk of cancer, according to the latest meta-analysis to address this controversy [1]. The findings add yet another wrinkle in a series of published studies attempting to address the cancer issue with the antihypertensive medications, with some studies suggesting there is a cancer link while others finding none ... How Did the Controversy Begin? ..."

Tadalafil Approved for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia - Medscape, 10/6/11 - "The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today approved tadalafil (Cialis, Eli Lilly), a phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitor, to also treat the signs and symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) as well as a combination of BPH and erectile dysfunction (ED) when the conditions coincide ... Tadalafil joins a long list of other FDA-approved drugs for BPH symptoms: finasteride (Proscar), dutasteride (Avodart), dusasteride plus tamsulosin (Jalyn), and alpha-blockers terazosin (Hytrin), doxazosin (Cardura), tamsulosin (Flomax), alfuzosin (Uroxatral), and silodosin (Rapaflo)"

Leucine supplements boost muscle synthesis by 33% during exercise - Nutra USA, 10/6/11 - "In contrast with resistance exercise, sustained endurance exercise is mainly catabolic, yielding simultaneous reductions in muscle protein synthesis and plasma leucine concentrations during exercise, which may be attributed to the metabolic demand for branched chain amino acids in exercising skeletal muscle ... the leucine-enriched beverage was associated with a 33% increase in muscle protein synthesis ... Our findings indicate that increasing the leucine content of protein supplements provided for those populations susceptible to muscle loss, including proteolytic conditions—such as cachexia, sarcopenia, and calorie deprivation—may warrant further exploration" - [Abstract] - See leucine products at Amazon.com.

Biologists find 'surprising' number of unknown viruses in sewage - Science Daily, 10/6/11 - "What was surprising was that the vast majority of viruses we found were viruses that had not been detected or described before"

Pioglitazone: A Key Component for Type 2 Diabetes Therapy - Medscape, 10/5/11 - "Even in patients who do not already have known CV disease there is an increasingly strong case developing in favour of using the combination of metformin, pioglitazone and a GLP-1 agonist in the modern management of type 2 diabetes.[42] This case is argued by Professor Ralph DeFronzo who, in print[42] as well as in a webcast,[43] describes an 'ominous octet' of factors combining in the pathophysiology of type 2 diabetes (figure 4). With regard to these eight factors he points out that sulphonylureas only improve insulin secretion and that even this effect is transient. By contrast, GLP-1 agonists impact on five members of the ominous octet, pioglitazone on four and metformin on two, and that the effects of these agents are complementary and some at least are sustained. As a potent insulin sensitiser, pioglitazone reduces hepatic glucose output and increases glucose uptake in muscle. It improves and preserves pancreatic beta-cell function and therefore insulin secretion and it is also a potent inhibitor of lipolysis. At the level of the liver, metformin is a potent insulin sensitiser reducing hepatic gluconeogenesis and in muscle it provides an additive effect to pioglitazone in promoting glucose uptake. GLP-1 analogues increase the incretin effect, increasing insulin secretion, reducing glucagon secretion and hepatic glucose output. Finally GLP-1 agonists act on the brain reducing appetite and promoting weight loss. DeFronzo[42,43] reminds us that even at the stage of impaired glucose tolerance, individuals have lost >80% of their beta-cell function. Therefore he argues that the modern paradigm for the management of type 2 diabetes would involve intensive management at the earliest stages using metformin, pioglitazone and GLP-1 agonists in combination with a view to achieving a target HbA1C <6%.[42,43] It is worth noting in particular that the combination of these agents does not require expensive home glucose monitoring and these agents are not associated with a risk of hypoglycaemia"

Immune mechanism blocks inflammation generated by oxidative stress - Science Daily, 10/5/11 - "Conditions like atherosclerosis and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) -- the most common cause of blindness among the elderly in western societies -- are strongly linked to increased oxidative stress, the process in which proteins, lipids and DNA damaged by oxygen free radicals and related cellular waste accumulate, prompting an inflammatory response from the body's innate immune system that results in chronic disease ... when lipids (fats) in cell membranes degrade through oxidative stress, they produce a number of reactive products, including a compound called malondialdehyde (MDA), which in turn modifies other molecules to create novel oxidation-specific epitopes, the part of antigens that draws the attention and inflammatory response of the innate immune system"

More Evidence for Lowering LDL to Below 70 - Medscape, 10/4/11 - "They compared outcomes among 1054 patients with LDL levels below 70 mg/dL at the time of their MI as to whether they were discharged on a statin or not ... Results showed that the rate of major adverse cardiac events at one year was significantly lower in those patients who were taking a statin, with the benefit mainly driven by the reduction of cardiac death and coronary revascularization ... Dr Roger Blumenthal (Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD) suggested the study supported the pleiotropic effects of statins and the idea that the ideal LDL-C is probably closer to 50 than to 70 mg/dL ... levels of LDL below 70 are on a par with those of nonhuman primates who don't develop atherosclerosis, adding that, like these primates, humans were designed to be vegetarians ... Chimpanzees don't eat meat; they eat very little fat. They have LDL levels in the range of 40 to 70, and they don't get atherosclerosis. Maybe we wouldn't get atherosclerosis either if we had levels this low"

Abstracts from this week's Doctor's Guide Nutrition/Dietetics plus abstracts from my RSS feeds (Click here for the journals, the PubMed ones at the top):

Influence of low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol on arterial stiffening and left ventricular diastolic dysfunction in essential hypertension - J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich). 2011 Oct;13(10):710-5 - "In univariate regression analysis, HDL cholesterol was inversely associated with arterial stiffness parameter and E/Em (r=-0.23 and r=-0.27, respectively, P<.01). The association of HDL cholesterol with arterial stiffness and LV diastolic function was observed in both men and women. Triglycerides were weakly correlated with arterial stiffness parameter and E/Em, while low-density lipoprotein and total cholesterol were not. In multiple regression analysis, only low HDL cholesterol was found as an independent predictor for both arterial stiffness and LV diastolic dysfunction. Enhanced arterial stiffness is associated with LV diastolic dysfunction. Low HDL cholesterol may lead to the deterioration of both arterial stiffness and LV diastolic function in patients with essential hypertension"

Serum Calcium Levels and Hypertension Among US Adults - J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich). 2011 Oct;13(10):716-21 - "Elevated serum total calcium levels were positively associated with hypertension, independent of potential confounders including C-reactive protein, estimated glomerular filtration rate, serum albumin, 25(OH)D, and phosphorous. Compared with the lowest quartile of serum total calcium (referent category), the multivariable odds ratio (95% confidence interval) of hypertension was 1.49 (1.15-1.93) for the highest quartile (P=.005). This association persisted in subgroup analyses stratified by sex, age, and race-ethnicity. In contrast, serum ionized calcium levels were not associated with hypertension. Higher serum total calcium levels are positively associated with hypertension in a representative sample of US adults"

Higher Testosterone Levels Are Associated with Less Loss of Lean Body Mass in Older Men - J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Oct 5 - "In weight losers, higher testosterone was associated with less decline in timed chair stands. Estradiol was not related to body composition or physical function changes. Higher SHBG was associated with less loss of appendicular lean mass and grip strength.Conclusions: Higher endogenous testosterone is associated with reduced loss of lean mass and lower extremity function in older men losing weight. Endogenous testosterone may contribute to healthy aging"

Propionyl-L-carnitine, L-arginine and niacin in sexual medicine: a nutraceutical approach for erectile dysfunction - Andrologia. 2011 Oct 4 - "In a group of 54 unselected men (35-75 years), consecutively presenting to our ED clinic and naive to other ED treatments, we carried out a single-blind, one-arm study to evaluate the effects of a 3-month supplementation with propionyl-L-carnitine, L-arginine and niacin on their sexual performance ... Analyses on GAQs revealed that treatment improved erections in 40% of cases, with a partial response occurring in up to 77% of enrolled subjects. These preliminary findings indicate that the favourable cardiovascular effects of nutraceuticals might also reflect on male sexual function with possible implication in the treatment and prevention of ED. This study documents a considerable patients' interest toward nutritional supplementation - as first-line or adjunctive treatment to PDE5 inhibitors - that goes beyond the measurable increment in penile rigidity" - See propionyl-l-carnitine products at Amazon.com, niacin at Amazon.com and L-arginine products at Amazon.com.

Neat Tech Stuff / "How To's":

Health Focus (Acetyl-L-Carnitine):

Specific Recommendations:

News & Research:

  • Commonly used supplement may improve recovery from spinal cord injuries - Science Daily, 9/28/11 - "in experimental models, severe spinal cord injury can be treated effectively by administering the supplement acetyl-L-carnitine or ALC, a derivative of essential amino acids that can generate metabolic energy, soon after injury ... following spinal cord injury, the mitochondria, or energy-generation components of cells, are overwhelmed by chemical stresses and lose the ability to produce energy in the form of the compound adenosine triphosphate (ATP). [1,2] This leads to cell death at the injury site and, ultimately, paralysis of the body below the injury level ... ALC can preserve the vitality of mitochondria by acting as an alternative biofuel providing energy to cells, thus bypassing damaged mitochondrial enzymes and promoting neuroprotection"
  • Effect of Oral Acetyl L-Carnitine Arginate on Biomarkers in Pre-Diabetics - Medscape, 10/28/09 - "3 g.day−1 of ALCA (n = 14; 31 +/- 3 yrs) or placebo (n = 15; 35 +/- 3 yrs) in a double-blind design, to consume for eight weeks ... slight improvements in glucose (109 +/- 5 to 103 +/- 5 mg.dL−1), HbA1c (6.6 +/- 1.1 to 6.2 +/- 1.2%), and HOMA-IR (3.3 +/- 1.3 to 2.9 +/- 1.2) ... slight improvement in glucose metabolism, as evidenced by minor decreases in blood glucose, insulin, and HbA1c (which may have been more pronounced with longer treatment, as HbA1c has a half-life equal to approximately 12 weeks" - See propionyl-l-carnitine products at Amazon.com.
  • Protecting the Brain from Aging? - Dr. Weil, 6/22/09 - "Dr. Khalsa is president and medical director of the Alzheimer's Prevention Foundation International and author of the book "The Better Memory Kit" to be published later this year. He tells me that supplemental acetyl-L-carnitine can increase energy in the mitochondria, the power plants of all cells, and thereby helps generally boost physical and mental energy. He describes acetyl-L-carnitine as a superior antioxidant that promotes the production in cells of glutathione, perhaps our most potent free radical scavenger. If you decide to try it, Dr. Khalsa recommends taking 500 to 1,500 mg per day along with 100 mg of Coenzyme-Q-10"
  • L-Acetylcarnitine Curbs ADHD Associated With Fragile X Syndrome - Medscape, 3/12/08 - "L-acetylcarnitine (LAC) may be considered an alternative to stimulants for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children with fragile X syndrome, based on results of a double-blind, placebo-controlled study"
  • Lipoic acid and carnitine combo show diabetes potential - Nutra USA, 2/18/08 - [Abstract] - "the combination of LA and LCAR increased the mass, oxygen consumption, mitochondrial DNA expression, and fatty acid oxidation in the fat cells ... However, the treatments with LA or ALC alone at the same concentrations showed little effect on mitochondrial function and biogenesis ... Lipoic acid and acetyl-L-carnitine have become very hot after our reports on the complementary effects on improving memory and ambulatory activity in old rats"
  • Complementary and Integrative Approaches to Dementia - Medscape, 7/5/05 - "There have been several controlled clinical trials suggesting that ALc slows the progression of AD"
  • Jarrow Formulas’, Inc. Introduces ALCA 500(TM) (Acetyl-L-Carnitine Arginate Dihydrochloride) - NPI Center, 3/8/05 - "Acetyl-l-carnitine arginate (ALCA) represents an advancement in the carnitine and arginine fields as this new dietary supplement offers potential benefits in affecting levels of nitric oxide over and above the traditional benefits of carnitine" - See acetyl l-carnitine products at Amazon.com.
  • Common Nutrient May Ease Diabetic Pain - WebMD, 1/6/05 - "1,000 milligrams three times a day of acetyl-L-carnitine was effective in relieving pain caused by nerve damage associated with the condition"
  • Supplemental Carnitine May Be Helpful in Diabetic Neuropathy - Medscape, 1/3/05 - "Pain as the most bothersome symptom significantly improved with ALC"
  • New uses for carnitine - Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals, 11/04 - "Because L-carnitine is central to the formation of energy from fat, the heart is therefore dependent on L-carnitine for most of its energy production ... L-Carnipure carries long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondria where they are oxidised for energy. Its ability to generate energy from fat makes carnitine useful as part of a weight management program ... L-carnitine plus its metabolite, acetyl-L-carnitine, can treat symptoms of male ageing, including sexual dysfunction, depressed mood and fatigue"
  • Carnitine Improves Symptoms of Male Aging - Medscape, 4/14/04 - "Carnitine is more active than testosterone for improving symptoms of male aging such as sexual dysfunction, depressed mood, and fatigue ... In this trial, 120 patients were randomized to receive testosterone undecanoate 160 mg/day, propionyl-L-carnitine 2 g/day plus acetyl-L-carnitine 2 g/day, or placebo for six months"  - [Abstract] - See acetyl l-carnitine at Amazon.com.
  • Do Anti-aging Supplements Really Work? - Life Extension Magazine, 6/02 - "The National Academy of Sciences has published three new reports showing that aging may be partially reversible with currently available supplements"
  • The Wizard is Oz - Life Extension Magazine, 11/01 - "Best-selling author and nutritional guru to the rich and famous, Oz Garcia is singing the praises of the Life Extension Foundation and its products in his newest book, The Healthy High Tech Body, published in September 2001 ... Supplements at the top of Garcia's list of recommendations ... DHA ... NADH ... Alpah Lipoic Acid ... Acetyl-L-Carnitine ... An expanded list of his recommendations includes lycopene, gamma tocopherol, vinpocetine, SAMe, folic acid, carnosine, glutathione, DMAE, Huperzine A, probiotics, MSM, secretagogues, arginine pyroglutamate, IP-6, bioflavonoid formulas and grape skin/seed extracts"
  • Sustain the Brain - Nutrition Science News, 2/01 - "By enhancing membrane stability, energy production, and neurotransmission, ALC may improve mental function. In addition, it may also have anti-inflammatory effects that reduce free radical generation. . . ALC's ability to bind cortisol and increase nerve growth factor production within the hippocampal region may explain its positive effects on neurons."
  • Sperm Booster? - WebMD, 1/1/01
  • Can L-carnitine help reverse Alzheimer's disease? - Nutrition Science News, 8/00
  • The Anti-Aging Effects of Acetyl-L-Carnitine - Life Extension Magazine, 5/00 - "When acetyl-L-carnitine was administered, their heart rates became almost completely restored to the metabolic function level of young control rats . . . acetyl-L-carnitine is critical to youthful cellular function in the brain, heart, liver, peripheral nerve and immune system.  Supplementation with acetyl-L-carnitine becomes an even greater consideration when we realize the potential antiaging effects this amino acid may produce when taken in combination with coQ10 and alpha lipoic acid"
  • Staying Young Forever, Putting new research findings into practice - Life Extension Foundation, 12/99 - "acetyl l-carnitine significantly reversed age-associated mitochondrial decay. It increased cellular respiration, membrane potential and cardiolipin levels"
  • Lower AGE with Acetyl L-Carnitine - Life Enhancement Magazine, 8/99 - "Diabetics and others who become susceptible to high levels of glucose in blood serum as they age suffer from the formation of deleterious hybrid protein-sugar complexes known as advanced glycation end products (AGE) ... ALC decreased the glycation by 42%"
  • Anti-Cortisols May Offer New Hope For Retinitis Pigmentosa - Doctor's Guide, 11/17/97 - "According to Sapse, RP can be treated initially with a cocktail of anti-cortisol nutritional compounds including vitamin A, zinc, ginkgo biloba and acetyl-L-carnitine . . ."
  • Top Ten Life Extension Drugs - Life Extension Magazine, 9/95
  • Acetyl-L-Carnitine Supplements Slow Progression of Alzheimer's Disease -The Nutrition Reporter, '95